Oland fam­ily urges po­lice com­mis­sion to release find­ings

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Den­nis Oland’s mother and wife is­sued a joint state­ment Tues­day urg­ing the New Brunswick Po­lice Com­mis­sion to make pub­lic the find­ings of an on­go­ing in­quiry into the Saint John Po­lice Force’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Richard Oland’s mur­der.

The state­ment was is­sued in re­sponse to me­dia re­ports that sug­gested the find­ings might be kept se­cret.

The com­mis­sion could not be reached for com­ment Tues­day.

A jury found Den­nis Oland guilty last month of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in death of his fa­ther, well-known New Brunswick businessman Richard Oland.

Richard Oland’s body was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John of­fice on July 7, 2011. He had suf­fered 45 blunt and sharp force blows to his head, neck and hands, al­though no weapon was ever found.

The Oland fam­ily is per­haps best known for found­ing Moose­head Brew­eries in Saint John, Canada’s old­est in­de­pen­dent brew­ery.

In the Oland fam­ily’s state­ment, Con­nie and Lisa Oland re­peat their as­ser­tion that Den­nis Oland was wrong­fully con­victed and they sug­gest that the pos­si­bil­ity the in­quiry’s find­ings may be kept un­der wraps “is un­ac­cept­able, and serves only to fur­ther erode the com­mu­nity’s con­fi­dence and trust.”

The two women is­sued a state­ment Dec. 23 say­ing they are cer­tain the per­son who killed Richard Oland is still on the loose, and the fam­ily is work­ing on an ap­peal.

How Saint John po­lice con­ducted their in­ves­ti­ga­tion was a cen­tral is­sue at Den­nis Oland’s trial, which be­gan in Septem­ber.

Jus­tice John Walsh re­minded ju­rors dur­ing his charge there was ev­i­dence that po­lice failed to pre­vent too many peo­ple from en­ter­ing Richard Oland’s of­fice af­ter his body was found, and of­fi­cers al­lowed a sec­ond-floor wash­room to be used be­fore it could be foren­si­cally tested.

The court also heard po­lice didn’t en­sure the back door — a pos­si­ble exit from the crime scene — re­mained un­touched be­fore it could be ex­am­ined.

The re­view was an­nounced days af­ter a jury found Den­nis Oland guilty. The com­mis­sion said it was act­ing at the re­quest of the Saint John board of po­lice com­mis­sion­ers.

Ear­lier this month, for­mer Crown pros­e­cu­tor was Kath­leen Lor­don was ap­pointed by the com­mis­sion to lead the re­view.

The Fred­er­ic­ton-based com­mis­sion has said Lor­don’s rec­om­men­da­tions will be for­warded to the provin­cial min­is­ter of pub­lic safety.

Last month, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the com­mis­sion, Steve Roberge, said the in­quiry can go be­yond the is­sues of the crime scene and look at any is­sues rel­e­vant to po­lice per­for­mance in the high-pro­file in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing the use of search war­rants.

At the time, Roberge said many of the is­sues have al­ready been dealt with by the force.

Roberge also said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of deputy chief Glen McCloskey — re­quested in Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing the tes­ti­mony of a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer — is a sep­a­rate mat­ter and was al­ready un­der­way. For­mer staff sergeant Mike King al­leged in his tes­ti­mony at the Oland trial that McCloskey had en­tered the crime scene on July 7, 2011.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.